Pro remodelers take us inside their patio door replacement project

A pair of homeowners who also happen to run their own construction business give us the inside story on how they decided on the right patio door for their personal home.
Parents laugh while their children race around a kitchen featuring black cabinetry and a black framed sliding glass door.
Morgan Molitor isn’t just an experienced homeowner who’s renovated all three of her family’s previous homes. She’s also one half of construction2style (C2S), which you might be familiar with if you spend time in the home design corners of the internet. Both a blog and a construction business, C2S is ever evolving as Morgan and her husband, Jamie, take on home remodeling and building projects that unite her design skills and business acumen with his carpentry skills and general contracting experience.

So, when they offered to give us the inside story on the newest update to their personal home — a patio door refresh — we jumped at the opportunity to learn from these pro remodelers.

When form and function both lack, it’s time for a change!

The dated, beige door stood out from the rest of their black-trimmed windows and doors. “It bothered me every time I looked at,” Morgan said, and she looked at the door a lot. Not only is it visible from most every room on the first floor, but it’s also at the center of their kitchen where they “start and end every day.” Unfortunately, it wasn’t only the aesthetics that were lacking. The lock was broken, creating a less than ideal situation for this family with young children. And the screen door was broken too — a problem during buggy Minnesota summers. With both form and function lacking, it was time to replace the patio door.
A before picture shows the old beige sliding glass door, and an after picture shows the new, sleek, black-framed patio door.
Before the patio door was replaced, its beige frame really stood out and made Morgan cringe every time she saw it. Now, the new black framed door with contemporary panels matches the rest of the home’s aesthetic. As Morgan put it, “What a difference a door makes!”

To make the right small-scale decisions, you need big-picture thinking

Morgan has lots of experience counseling clients through the decisions involved in a remodel. To make good decisions, she advises starting with a large-scale plan that’s made to match both your aesthetic and your lifestyle. "Doors and windows are features you’re going to have for a very long time,” she said, which is why it’s so important to pick the ones that match your long-term vision.

Here's how the Molitors did that when picking out their new patio door:

  • A gliding opening: Not wanting to give up “valuable real estate” on their deck was only part of the reason the Molitors opted for a gliding opening. Since they use the door all year round, they were also thinking about energy efficiency. The glide allows them to dash back and forth without opening the door completely, so it’s easier to keep warm air in during the winter and cooled air in during the summer.
  • Contemporary panel style: The clean lines and narrow frame made this an easy decision. Its contemporary look fits in with the rest of the updates they've made throughout the home. And the wide expanse of glass lets in lots of natural light and puts the focus on the view of their newly finished outdoor space.
  • Black frame color: The color choice was easy for the Molitors who “loves bold statements” and had already painted all the rest of the window and door trim black. In addition, the color matches a second set of doors that are also visible when viewing the home from the exterior, so it just made sense inside and out.
  • Hardware: Black flush hardware was chosen to blend in with the door frame. Built into the door panel with a subtle depression that makes it easy to slide the door open and shut, the hardware doesn’t interrupt the door's sleek profile and perfectly complements their contemporary style.
  • Auxiliary foot lock: Although the door the Molitors chose has a multi-point locking system — two hook bolts above the deadbolt adding weathertightness and enhanced security — they also opted to add an auxiliary foot lock for extra security and air flow. (The lock can be set when the door is open for secure venting.)
A woman tries out her new black-framed sliding patio door while a contractor stands by.
Morgan loves how easily the door glides. “I don’t feel like I’m letting out much warm air, even when I’m going in and out in winter,” she said. The ease of opening was an important consideration because their family uses this door so frequently.

3 takeaways from the C2S patio door replacement

Preparing to take on a door replacement project? Here are a few takeaways from Molitor’s experience:

  1. Consider how often you use the door: Knowing they would use their door every day of the year helped the Molitors settle on a gliding opening so they can slip in and out without necessarily opening the door fully each time. It also helped them decide on the right product line. They went with the A-Series. As our best performing and most energy-efficient product line, their new patio door can seal out Minnesota’s notoriously harsh weather and keep their home comfortable in all seasons while also saving them money on utility bills.

  2. Keep the big-picture plan in mind: Knowing how they want their space to look, even if it will take years to get there, helped them make decisions about color, panel style, and hardware. The Molitors are remodeling their home room by room with the intention of making the home their own and showcasing their “eclectic” style. They know windows and doors are large investments that last many years, so they wanted to make sure they chose a door they would love when their house remodel is complete.

  3. Hire a pro installer: Jamie is a general contractor, still, he and Morgan chose to hire a specialist to install their patio door replacement. The reason? “Time is money” as Morgan put it. Hiring a window and door contractor meant Jamie could focus on client work while knowing their door would be installed by an experienced and efficient team. Equally important, Andersen Certified Contractors warranty their work for up to two years, so the Molitors have peace of mind too. "If we have a problem, we know we can call them,” Morgan said.
A homeowner and contractor stand at a kitchen island discussing options for a patio door replacement with black cabinetry and black-and-white tile backsplash in the background.
Although Jamie is a general contractor, the Molitors opted to hire an Andersen Certified Contractor to install their door because it was efficient, came with a two-year installation warranty, and most important of all, it freed up Jamie to focus on client work.
The patio door was the missing piece connecting their remodeled kitchen with their new deck and pool outside. “Now the space makes me so happy. It’s cohesive.” Morgan said.

Ready to take the next step? We’ve got the tools and tips you need to begin your patio door replacement project.

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